ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mitch Moreland, called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Thursday after Ian Kinsler was placed on the disabled list, will start at first base against the Oakland Athletics. Joaquin Arias will start at second.
Rangers manager Ron Washington said getting Moreland on the field was of high priority for the team.
"I just wanted to get him in there as quickly as I possibly can and let him get an idea of what playing the major league is like," Washington said.
The rookie said he heard about the decision at about 10:45 p.m. and "got down here as quick as he could."
"All I ever dreamed [of] was doing this," Moreland said Thursday. "Like I said, I'm just lucky I got the opportunity and want to make the most of it."
Washington said the opportunity arose with second baseman Ian Kinsler's pulled groin, and Moreland was the best farm-system option.
"He swung the bat well [in Oklahoma City,] played good defense," Washington said. "When we decided what to do when we knew we weren't going to have Kinsler, we went down and just got the best player we had in the infield. It happened to be Moreland."
Moreland was hitting .289 with the RedHawks, with 12 home runs and 65 RBIs. However, he has spent most of his career as an outfielder, and said he just spent the last 11 or 12 games at first base. Though new, Moreland said he is comfortable in the infield.
"Since I've been with the Rangers, I've done a little bit of outfield and a little bit of first, just trying to get comfortable at both places," Moreland said. "I feel great at first. I'm just happy to be between the lines."
From Amory, a small town in Mississippi, Washington tried to keep Moreland's head in the game, not on the distractions around him.
"I walked in today, and I caught [Washington] coming through, and he said I was in there today, and to relax and go get them. It's the same game."